Master Amazing Work-Life Balance With These Six TipsOct 03, 2020
Starting a business from home is not as easy as it sounds!
Don’t get me wrong.
Working from home is an amazing opportunity to do something awesome on your own schedule. As an entrepreneur, you get to make an impact while not having to check in with a boss to take time off.
Do you want to have brunch with friends? Schedule that in. Is your daughter home from school with a bad cold? Snuggle up on the couch and watch some Disney!
But all those pieces don’t magically fall into place. You need a strategy to get your business in order so that you can balance it in a healthy way with the rest of your life.
Five tips for setting up a healthy work-life balance!
Find the balance you’re looking for with these simple steps.
Define what work-life balance means for you.
You need to decide what you want your life to look like. When do you need to be able to turn off work and be 100% available for your family or friends? When will you let client work take priority?
Do you want to work full-time, part-time, evenings, during the kids’ naptime?
Think about the goals you have for income, family time, and other commitments. How will your business help you achieve those goals?
These things are all part of how you balance work and life.
Create a work schedule and stick to it.
Part of scheduling your time will involve evaluating your personality. When do you work best? Feel the most energized? When can you commit to undisturbed work time?
If you have other resources available to you, like childcare, you can plan ahead to make the most of those times.
The other part of creating your schedule will be blocking out your other commitments: carpool, doctor’s appointments, sports practices. This may mean writing your work schedule just one week at a time. Or, if you have predictable activities, you might want to keep regular “office hours.”
Of course, the beauty of this is, it’s your business! You get to decide!
But the key is, once you’ve decided, stick to your schedule! Don’t let your flexible schedule flex right out the door! Keeping your schedule means you work hard during work time, so you can do what you want the rest of the time.
Plan your work time.
So you have your work time blocked out. Now it’s time to plan what you’re going to work on during those hours.
Without a list of tasks, you will waste a lot of time simply rethinking what needs to be done next. But if you already have a plan for that hour, you will be able to just sit down and get right to work! Micala Quinn talks about this in her blog post about managing your time as a work-at-home mom. And the principle applies to any business.
So take out your calendar, look at every time block you have available for the next week, and write down what you will work on during that time. It may be client work, bookkeeping, networking, writing an email. Whatever you need to do to move your business forward this week.
And now you have a plan, so you won’t sit down at your desk and spend the first 15 minutes feeling lost on where to begin.
Set physical boundaries.
Let’s face it. Having your office in your house can be a real pain! If you are lucky enough to have a dedicated office space, you get to close the door when you’re done for the day! But what do you do if you just don’t have that luxury?
If you find yourself spreading your work out across the kitchen table, with piles of books and papers making their way to the coffee table or nightstand, take notes! You don’t want to be living in your office 24/7. That is a serious problem for your work-life balance.
So what can you do if an office isn’t an option? Choose one space! Go buy a cute but functional basket that can hold your notebooks, pens, and other desk essentials. Get a portable file folder for documents you need handy. So even if you have to work at the kitchen table, or right in the middle of the living room, you have everything together.
Then put it all away on a shelf or in a closet when you’re done for the day. Close your laptop and put it in the basket, too. Out of sight, out of mind, right? From office to home in seconds. You might have the shortest commute ever!
Set work boundaries.
You also need to decide what boundaries you’re going to have with your clients. Protect yourself against scope creep, unfair demands, and round-the-clock text messages by setting up clear expectations from the start.
What hours will you be available to respond to messages? When will you check emails? What qualifies as “short notice” work, and how will you charge? Include these details, along with a clearly detailed scope of work, when you onboard a new client. That way both you and your client can get the most benefit out of your relationship. You really will be able to give your best when you don’t feel like you’re fighting to not be walked all over!
Don’t forget about you!
This last one isn’t necessarily business-related, but it’s so important! Don’t get so busy crushing it with your business that you forget to take time for you.
There is so much talk of self-care these days, and you really can’t afford to ignore it. So take time every day to do something that energizes you. Read a novel, go for a walk, journal. Whatever restores balance for you. Then you can come back at building your legacy from a fresh perspective tomorrow.
How do you maintain work-life balance while building a business? Join our Canva Savvies community on Facebook and let’s support each other by sharing ideas!
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